Contemporary Church Political Policy

97 Primary Sources

Date
Summary
Jan 29, 1844

Joseph announces his candidacy for the US Presidency.

Feb 8, 1844

Joseph Smith discusses the reasons why he would run for the Presidency of the U.S.A.

1867

John Taylor teaches that the Saints generally "vote as a unit" in elections.

Feb 12, 1870

Text of "An Act Conferring Upon Women the Elective Franchise" allowing women over 21 years of age to vote in Utah.

Aug 3, 1870

George A. Smith (member of First Presidency) writes that he had the "pleasure" of staying at home while his wives voted in August 1870.

1871

Brigham Young acknowledges that "outsiders" object to LDS block voting; justifies it as it allows the Kingdom to be established in righteousness.

1872

Brigham Young teaches that a religion that does not govern its members in their politics is "a very poor religion"; the Gospel unites people from different political backgrounds.

1873

John Taylor defends the practice of the Saints voting together.

1877

Edward Tullidge notes that the act allowing women to vote in Utah was passed by Brigham Young and the legislature without a dissenting vote.

1887

Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887 takes away the right to vote for women in Utah.

Feb 19, 1891

Wilford Woodruff records meeting with delegation at Ogden who wants to unite the people of Utah under two parties: Republicans and Democrats.

Mar 16, 1892

Wilford Woodruff records meeting with Democrat politicans who blamed the Church leadership for Logan electing a Republican.

Oct 4, 1892

Wilford Woodruff records in journal that Church leaders do not believe members should "take the stump" to make political speeches.

Nov 8, 1894

Wilford Woodruff records in journal that majority vote in Utah and rest of USA went to the Republicans; Frank J. Cannon (Republican) defeated J. L. Rawlins for congressional seat.

Oct 7, 1895

Abraham H. Cannon records in journal Church leaders discussing B.H. Roberts and Moses Thatcher and need for Church leaders to consult with their superiors before seeking office.

Apr 11, 1896

First Presidency issues the "Political Manifesto" during the April 1896 General Conference: Church leaders must get permission from leadership before running for political office.

Oct 1897

Wilford Woodruff calls on Church members to vote for electing good men to government regardless of their political party.

Jan 1908

Edward H. Anderson encourages support of Prohibition in January 1908 Improvement Era.

Jan 16, 1919

The text of the 18th Amendment to the U.S Constitution.

Jun 4, 1919

The text of the 19th Amendment to the U.S Constitution.

Sep 1932

First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles come out in support of prohibition and oppose proposals to repeal 18th Amendment.

May 27, 1933

Deseret News reprints Heber J. Grant's letter addressing the Church's opposition to attempts to repeal the 18th Amendment.

Mar 24, 1941

Harlan F. Stone tells Charles Evans Hughes that Jehovah's Witnesses have been great advocates for religious freedom.

Aug 1941

First Presidency issues a letter opposing federal payments for not raising crops.

1972

SCOTUS rules that Amish are not required to send children to school.

Oct 22, 1976

First Presidency articulates reasons for opposing ERA.

Oct 1978

First Presidency in 1978 reaffirms opposition to ERA.

May 5, 1981

First Presidency expresses reason for opposing MX missile construction.

May 1993

The Ensign reports on the Church's Support for Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

Feb 1994

Ensign reports on the Church welcoming the Religious Freedom Act being signed into U.S. Law.

Mar 18, 1995

Gordon B Hinckley explains why the Church becomes involved in political activity.

May 18, 1996

Gordon B. Hinckley explains position of political neutrality, barring moral issues.

May 18, 1996

Gordon B. Hinckley explains position of political neutrality, barring moral issues.

Jun 3, 1997

Church includes Proclamation in Amicus brief.

May 29, 2002

S. George Ellsworth gives overview of Utah becoming a state; includes discussion of Edmunds-Tucker and other anti-polygamy acts.

2003

Church Manual notes that Church leaders instructed members to vote Republican in 1890s.

Feb 10, 2003

Church involved in alcohol legislation.

Aug 14, 2004

NYT reports on peyote and religious freedom.

Apr 1, 2006

Gordon B. Hinckley denounces racism and teaches "there is no basis for racial hatred" among Church members.

Aug 14, 2006

Dallin H. Oaks states homosexuality is a temptation, not a fundamental identity.

Jun 30, 2008

First Presidency explains Church's rationale for supporting Prop 8.

Jun 30, 2008

First Presidency explains Church's rationale for supporting Prop 8.

Aug 1, 2008

Church Newsroom posts the Formal Church statement on Prop 8 efforts.

Oct 2008

Russell M. Nelson gives talk on abortion, beginning of life, and freedom of choice.

Oct 8, 2008

Russell M. Nelson advocates for Prop 8; requests Church members to campaign actively, in a respectful manner, in one's community.

Oct 8, 2008

Russell M. Nelson advocates for Prop 8; requests Church members to campaign actively, in a respectful manner, in one's community.

2009

John Vile gives overview of Abington School District v. Schempp (1963) whose ruling prohibited the reading of Bible verses without comment, and the Lord's Prayer in public schools.

Feb 9, 2009

Deseret News reports Church violated laws through failing to report amount spent on Prop. 8 campaign.

2010

AORDA presents data on LDS population by percent of general population by county.

Jul 19, 2010

The Church issues a statement on immigration; calls on politicans from all parties to find a successful resolution.

2011

NOLO (website for small businesses for legal/business questions) Legal Encyclopedia on Political Campaigning and its limitations for a NPO.

Feb 1, 2011

Church reiterates its neutrality towards Romney's and Huntman's 2012 U.S. Presidential Campaign.

Feb 28, 2011

Deseret News publishes editorial on immigration; Church leaders quoted as affirming the need for all politicans "to do what is best for all of God's children," including illegal immigrants.

Jun 11, 2011

Church Newsroom gives overview of the Church's approach to immigration.

2012

USLegal Website provides overview of Edmunds-Tucker act; notes that it was repealed in 1978.

Jan 12, 2012

Pew Research reports that 74% of American LDS identify with, or lean towards, the Republican Party.

Sep 12, 2012

Thomas Burr reports on Church affirming its neutrality towards the candidates for the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election.

2013

Articles of Faith 11 and 12 affirming commitment to the law and the government.

2013

Joseph's declaration to the Church on the role of Government and Law.

Jan 21, 2014

Transcript of D. Todd Christofferson answering questions about Utah alcohol laws.

Jan 21, 2014

Church Newsroom publishes online article on Church's position concerning recent alcohol laws.

Apr 1, 2014

Coalition to oppose gay marriage files in KvH.

Jan 27, 2015

Tad Walsh in Deseret News reports on Church leaders supporting nondiscrimination laws in Utah.

Mar 12, 2015

New York Times reports on the LDS Church supporting the passing of anti-discrimination laws in Utah.

Oct 8, 2016

Deseret News calls on Donald Trump to step aside from campaigning to be the candidate for the Republican Party.

Aug 13, 2017

Church Newsroom publishes the Church's condemnation of the Charlottesville riots from August 13 and 15, 2017.

Aug 13, 2017 - Aug 15, 2017

Church Newsroom publishes the Church's condemnation of the Charlottesville riots.

Jun 18, 2018

Church condemns family separation policy at US-Mexico border.

Jun 18, 2018

Church announces its opposition to children being separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

2019

Official Church Website teaching that Tithing is used for construction of temples; no mention of tithing being used for political reasons.

2019

Utah State Legislature defines alcohol limits in Utah law.

Jan 22, 2019

Church Public Affairs articulates Church's political neutrality.

Feb 11, 2019

Alyssa Roberts includes statement from Church on opposition to alcohol increase in beer.

Feb 11, 2019

Church opposes recent alcohol law.

May 13, 2019

Church expresses opposition to Equality Act.

May 22, 2019

Current map of downtown Salt Lake City.

Dec 3, 2019

Church spokesman states that the Church opposes recent ERA proposal.

Dec 17, 2019

Deseret News reports on Church's response to $100 billion whistleblower.

2020

Church official instructions concerning disciplinary actions and confidentiality of proceedings.

2020

First Amendment Encyclopedia website gives overview of 1997 case Agostini v. Felton.

2020

Church Handbook of Instruction Outlines when a membership council is required.

Apr 20, 2020

Church lobbying the US Federal Government in 2020.

Oct 6, 2020

First Presidency of the Church urges members to be informed about candidates before voting in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.

2021

Congress.gov Website gives an overview of the "Fairness for All Act."

2021

Renegade Brewing website gives an overview of "3.2 beer."

2021

Open Secrets reports Church paid $0 in 2019 and $20,000 in 2020 for Political Lobbying.

Feb 2021

Council on Foundations (group advocating philantropy) on the limits of political activity by NPOs in the Republic of Ireland.

Mar 2021

The official Church policy on abortion.

Mar 12, 2021

Deseret News article reports on Uchtdorf's campaign donation during 2020 U.S. election campaign.

Apr 2021

Oaks teaches that faithful members should not be barred from belonging to, or voting for, any particular political party.

Apr 16, 2021

Church lobbying the US Federal Government in 2021.

Aug 2021

Council on Foundations (group advocating philantropy) on the limits of political activity by NPOs in Brazil.

Sep 2021

Council on Foundations (group advocating philantropy) on the limits of political activity by NPOs in Mexico.

Sep 7, 2021

IRS Website on limits to lobbying a NPO can engage in.

2022

Saints notes that George Albert Smith reversed Helmuth Hübener's excommunication in 1942 after learning about it after the end of World War 2.

2022

Church Topics Essay on Helmuth Hübener.

2022

Saints gives an overview of Church leaders debating B. H. Roberts and Moses Thatcher seeking politcal office without seeking support from their quorum leaders; results in 1896 "Political Manifesto."

Jun 21, 2022

Supreme Court of the United States's case of Carson v. Makin which ruled against the state of Maine disallowing vouchers to be used to pay for religious-based private schools.

Jun 21, 2022

Scotus Blog provides an overview of Caron v. Makin.

Jun 22, 2022

Andrew Chung of the Washington Post reports on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Carson v. Makin.